What Is The Conference Board (CB)

The Conference Board (CB) is a member-driven economic think tank. The organization distributes information about management and the marketplace to over 2,000 businesses across various industries and geographies, via peer-to-peer meetings. Founded in 1916 this not-for-profit research organization is a widely quoted private source of business intelligence.

The CB's Chief Directives

Based in New York, with offices across Belgium, China, and Canada, the CB aims to delve into the issues which companies regularly grapple with daily. These everyday concerns may include top-line growth in a shifting economic environment and corporate governance standards. According to the Conference Board’s website, the primary agenda is to help leaders navigate the most significant issues facing business, to help these leaders better serve society at large. The group accomplishes this goal by reflecting the input and real-world challenges of its member-base.

The Conference Board is best known for its widely-followed economic indicators, notably the Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI). This monthly report reflects prevailing business conditions and likely developments for the months ahead. It details consumer attitudes and buying intentions, with data broken down by age, income and region.

The Conference Board (CB) categorizes its content according to various centers or spheres of concentration which face businesses. These divisions include:

  • The Committee for Economic Development
  • Corporate Governance
  • Economy, Strategy & Finance
  • Human Capital
  • Marketing & Communications.

Each of these centers offers a unique set of valuable research and reference materials, blogs, white papers and podcasts. However, perhaps the most valuable portal is to the Board's Data and Analysis. Users may find the most recent data for the CCI and for the Leading Economic Indicators, which was a government-released data set until 1995. Users will also find the Board's calendar of scheduled Economic Releases irreplaceable. The Board's data is a vital tool for industry and business leaders worldwide.

Real World Example

Throughout the year, The CB sponsors multiple worldwide conferences, which focus on a variety of themes and topics, such as:

  • Employee benefits and compensation
  • Talent management strategies
  • Employee health care
  • Leadership
  • Executive coaching
  • Joint ventures and strategic alliances
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Merger integration

Finally, despite its high profile presence, the Conference Board maintains a strong apolitical posture, as per its charter, which mandates:

“No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, and the Corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

For example, the CB does not participate in any arrangement which can appear as their supporting or opposing a candidate. Further, they do not :

  • Contribute to a campaign committee, a candidate, a political party, or a Political Action Committee.
  • Publish or distribute written statements or make oral statements on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate.
  • Nor do they pay salaries or expenses of campaign workers.
  • Allow the use of its telephones, computers, facilities or other assets for political campaign activity.